Christmas Comes Early for Illinois Concealed Carry Advocates

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Christmas Comes Early for Illinois Concealed Carry Advocates
Christmas Comes Early for Illinois Concealed Carry Advocates
Christmas Comes Early for Illinois Concealed Carry Advocates
Christmas Comes Early for Illinois Concealed Carry Advocates

Illinois is the only state that does not allow concealed carry. That will all change 180 days from now. On Tuesday, December 12, 2012 a federal court ruled against a ban on carrying firearms for self-defense outside the home or business in a 2-1 decision. (view ruling below) They declared the right to self-defense is “broader than the right to have a gun in one’s home.”

This ruling gives Illinois legislature 180 days to “craft a new gun law that will impose reasonable limitations, consistent with the public safety and the Second Amendment…on the carrying of guns in public.”

From the ruling:

And one doesn’t have to be a historian to realize that a right to keep and bear arms for personal self-defense in the eighteenth century could not rationally have been limited to the home. Suppose one lived in what was then the wild west—the Ohio Valley for example (for until the Louisiana Purchase the Mississippi River was the western boundary of the United States), where there were hostile Indians. One would need from time to time to leave one’s home to obtain supplies from the nearest trading post, and en route one would be as much (probably more) at risk if unarmed as one would be in one’s home unarmed.

It will be interesting to see what the legislature comes up with within the next 180 days. Will we see Tennessee, Kentucky, or Florida-style concealed carry laws?  Todd Vandermyde,  NRA chief lobbyist in Illinois, says, “”The anti-gunners have been preparing for this contingency, but we will not have the law that they want: New Jersey on steroids. We have the majority in both chambers. We will have a Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida-style law.”

Will we see open carry in Illinois?

The appeals court majority mentioned at one point that a law that permitted open-carry handgun possession might be a sufficient revision of state law, which it described as one of the most restrictive in the country.

Here are a few quotes from national gun rights organizations:

“Today’s ruling is a victory for all law abiding citizens in Illinois and gun owners throughout the country,” said Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association. “The court recognized that the text and history of the Second Amendment guarantee individuals the right to carry firearms outside the home for self-defense and other lawful purposes. In light of this ruling, Mary Shepard and the people of Illinois will finally be able to exercise their Second Amendment rights.”

“We are very happy with Judge Posner’s majority opinion,” said Alan M. Gottlieb, Executive Vice President and Founder of the Second Amendment Foundation. “This is a victory for Illinois citizens who have been long denied a right recognized in the other 49 states; to have the means necessary for self-defense outside the home.

It would be great to finally change Illinois from a black state (Right Denied) to a blue state (Shall Issue) on our Concealed Carry Maps. We will continue to keep an eye on this story and update our maps and Illinois State Laws page as soon as the legislature creates the new laws.